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Monday, March 23, 2009

The experiment begins

So things are underway.  I have deposited my £100 with a well known online bookmaker and am ready to get things started. (Actually I already have started, but more of that later.)

In order to set a bench mark so I know if I have beaten the banks in a years time I have looked at what savings options are open to me today through if I was to invest the money in a bank or a FTSE tracker.

Best Instant Access Savings Account
Citibank – 3.26% AER (includes 12month bonus)

Best Instant Access Savings Account (No Bonus)
Yorkshire Building Society – 2.75% AER

Best Cash ISA
Barclays – 3.61% AER (includes 1% bonus for first 12 months)

Best Cash ISA (No Bonus)
NatWest* – 3.51% AER

1 Year Fixed Rate
Nationwide – 3.14% AER

So ignoring any tax implications the best return I could get from a savings account is currently 3.61% AER from Barclays.  As I already have an ISA I couldn’t invest the £100 in this, but I enjoy a challenge so will use this as the rate to beat meaning that if the rate doesn’t change for the next year my £100 would be worth a massive £103.61. Wow! So if I can make just £3.62 from gambling I will have beaten the banks, how hard can it be.

To add another element to the challenge, I have also noted the price of the FTSE-100. 

FTSE-100 – 3842.85  (At close of play Friday 20/03/09)

If I put my £100 in a FTSE-100 tracker I would either gain or lose based on the movement of the FTSE, so if in a year the FTSE is at 4227 my £100 would have turned in to £110.  It may not work exactly like this in practice as tracker funds have management fees and I have also assumed the fund would perfectly track the index, but for the purpose of the experiment its close enough.

When I next update I will give details of some of the bets I have made or will be making.  You will also be able to track what I am doing with more regular update on Twitter.

* – requires opening of a separate account with NatWest

Sources:-
Savings account rates – moneysupermarket.com
FTSE-100 – BBC News

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